Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Chapter 37: It's Just Me, Myself & My No Makeup Selfie

On a weekly basis and for almost a year now, I have been putting myself out there to all of you with this blog. Granted, I might talk shit some weeks, other weeks I may actually make sense, but let me tell you this... It's a big thing for me to do. Usually I am someone who will bottle everything up and then eventually explode like a fizzy drink. Not the best quality to have, but this blog helps me to express myself to you all and I am very grateful to have a loyal following from my family and friends who read this on a weekly basis. For that, I am eternally thankful.

Now. Hands up who can tell me what has been one of the biggest topics of conversation in the past week?... Yes, you over there with no makeup on... Ahh yes, the #nomakeupselfies. I am going to be honest now, when these first started circulating around the internet and my Facebook news feed, I thought what everyone else was thinking: "What is this doing to raise awareness for Cancer?" Some people have said it is because people would rather spend their money on raising awareness by donating to Cancer Research UK than spending their money on beauty products. I've also heard it was because a Cancer patient said that you don't have to wear make up to be beautiful. Both of these are great reasons to start raising awareness about Cancer and the terrible affects it has on patients and their families.

Let's take a step back here and think how it must be for a Cancer patient to see loads of girls on their Facebook posting selfies looking beautiful and flawless before a night out. A night out that they won't get to experience for a long time until they are feeling better. I know how I'd feel, but maybe that is just me? My sister said last week that we live in a selfie society these days. It's almost a new culture for social networking. I do it. You do it. There's not a problem with it. It's a picture. A picture you would be getting someone else to take if you didn't have a front facing camera on your top of the range mobile phone.

So, after careful observation, I have seen a lot of complaints about these 'no makeup selfies' circulating and I must say, I would rather be tagged in multiple no makeup selfies than see shit loads of complaints and negativity about them on my news feed. I use Facebook quite a lot and let's face it, it has proven to be an extremely powerful tool when it comes to sharing information and raising awareness along with Twitter, Instagram and all other social networks. Now I am, oh sorry correction WAS, Facebook friends with a guy who works for a very well know Radio station in Birmingham. I'm not going to say any names, but some of my friends reading this may already know who I'm on about. He is a Photographer and when I say he posts enhanced selfies, I'm telling you, they are more enhanced than the models on the cover of Vogue magazine. It really is amazing what Photoshop can do... Well, anyway! He had quite a few negative things to say surrounding the no makeup selfie campaign before AND after he realised that the campaign had actually raised A LOT of money for Cancer Research. Naturally, this angered me and anything negative toward something that is making such a massive difference will always upset me because I have lost my Mammy and Aunt to Cancer. There was also a girl whom I have known for years on (whom I have also deleted) who spoke her opinion about it. Opinions are fine and everyone is entitled to them - I get that. But when you're boyfriend butts in and says things like, "No one wants to see girls and how rough they look without make up on." Then I also have an opinion - you're a vile chauvinistic pig. You know that saying, "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all"? This also counts when you haven't lost anyone so close to you in your life to an illness that you aren't bothered about raising awareness for.

One of my Facebook friends made a VERY valid point about this campaign for everyone who is being so negative about it. She said:

"I don't quite understand the negativity about this campaign, the pictures don't cure Cancer but neither does doing something like a 10K run. It is the reason for campaigning that matters and if making a chain of no make-up selfies gets people talking, joining in and donating then I'm all for it. This campaign just shows how a little reminder that we can do something about Cancer goes a long way, with an unexpected number of donations being make to Cancer Research UK over the past couple of days!"


She is right, wearing no makeup and doing a 10K run doesn't cure Cancer. Climbing a Mountain doesn't prevent Poverty. Davina McCall cycling around the UK doesn't bring more food or water to starving families homes... but it makes a huge bloody difference. All the money raised for doing such bold things makes a bloody difference. If me putting a baby wipe to my face and wiping off what usually gives me more confidence makes a difference, I'm going to do it. If running 5K and pushing myself to limits I didn't even know I could makes a difference, I'm going to do it. Last yearwhen I ran for Race For Life for my Mammy, I had many pains and stitches along the way, naturally. But you know what drove me forward? If my Mammy can go through chemo and have what she described as "bleach pumping through my veins" in her body, I can cope with a little bit of muscle pain and stitch.

I get that people donate on a regular monthly basis and that is really great, but don't slag people off who are quite literally 'baring all' to people on the internet, some of which they have never even spoke to or have even met before! Campaigns like this not only helps raise awareness and loads of money towards curing Cancer, but it also helps you to realise what category you want to fall into: the person that helps, or the person that sits back?

Robert F. Kennedy once said:

"Few will have the greatness to bend history itself, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events. It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million difference centers of energy and daring those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance."

AKA #nomakeupselfie.

Here's mine:

Sorry guys, had to be done!

Did you also know, that Samuel L. Jackson invented the selfie? Here he is explaining how.

Big respect to all the men out there doing your bit too by doing a makeup selfie or a 'cock in a sock'. Many other acts have been done too, the important thing is a difference is being made! I would also like to take the time and say a massive THANK YOU for everyone who has donated to mine and my sister's Race For Life Just Giving page already, it means so much to us. If you haven't already and would like to donate, please click here.

Here is my song of the week: #SELFIE by The Chainsmokers.

Big Love.

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